Making Spending and Saving Money Decisions
Canadian Monopoly Board Game— approx. $15–$25
Children need decision making skills. They need practice deciding when it is wise to make a purchase and when it is best to save their money. Playing this game can help in that area if you look for opportunities in the game to talk about money decisions.
In this game, children also get practice counting and handling money. This edition of the popular board game “Monopoly” features Canadian properties, railways and utilities in place of those from the original game. This provides an additional opportunity for your child to learn about famous places in Canada. Playing a board game is not only a learning opportunity, it can get the family involved in a fun activity.
- Explain what the word “monopoly” means to your child. That is, there is only one owner of something. In this case, there is only one owner of all the properties of a certain colour or type.
- Next, set up the game board and explain the rules of the game.
- During the game, have discussions about the cost of the properties and how to go about making a good decision and making a wise purchase. This is a great opportunity to talk about the concept of “opportunity cost”—that is, whenever a decision is made to buy something, you give up the opportunity to buy something else. That is true with every buying decision.
- The game also provides an opportunity to talk about such concepts as “rent,” “taxes,” etc. via the cards that come into play.
- One option for play is to make up teams if this will enable the child to have someone older help them learn the rules of the game and how to make wise money decisions.
When was the last time you went into a store with your child and walked out without buying anything—on purpose? Next time say “We’re only going to look today. I don’t have the money today and I’m not buying today. So let’s just go in and have a look.” It gets them away from the expectation that you need to buy something every time you go into a store.
Also, if you are in a store with your child and they ask for something that is not affordable at the moment, instead of saying “No” (unless you want to and it is not a good purchase) use this as a chance to talk about saving—that is, if it is something worthwhile, talk about how the answer may be “no” today but, by saving, it could be “yes” in the future.
FOLLOW UP IDEAS:
Play another board game that teaches money skills.